Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

UNC ($, in-state) vs. Vandy ($)

UNC
25
52%
Vanderbilt
23
48%
 
Total votes: 48

casualty
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 6:53 pm

Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby casualty » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:22 pm

Before the no-brainer bashing starts, some background: I'm a debt adverse, older 0L (31), who is interested in practicing criminal law. Big Law isn't an ambition at the moment.

I've paid a deposit at UNC and signed a lease in Chapel Hill. Last week I got off the waitlist at Vandy and was offered $15k/year plus a one-time $5k stipend. That brings tuition to a total of around 85k, compared to the 30k (in-state tuition with 10k/year) total at UNC.

My career ambitions are modest. I want to be able to pay off debt and maintain a decent lifestyle in a small or mid-sized firm. However, since my application cycle ended, I've decided that my long term goals do not include living in North Carolina. It's unfortunate that this revelation didn't occur to me before I sent off all my applications, to say the least. Pretty much any larger US city with a decent mass transit system is an option for me.

So: Is the 50k difference in tuition (plus the lost deposits and possible lease liability) worth the potentially more portable and prestigious Vanderbilt degree? Or does UNC offer a slim enough hope of escaping my home state with less debt to make it worth it?

Any thoughts?

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18421
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby bk1 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:41 pm

It's a tough choice. On one hand Vandy will keep you indebted for a longer period of time but it would be far easier for you to procure employment immediately following law school in places other than NC. On the other hand you could go to UNC and be debt free sooner but you would be generally limited to NC for your first job (where it seems like your intention would be to work somewhere else once your experience was enough to get you looks from firms outside of NC).

I personally feel like your age makes it hard because you ideally want to get out of NC asap but you also want to be debt free asap and you have to give up one or the other (at least in terms of how long before it happens) depending on which school you choose. I think you have decide whether you want out of NC sooner or you want to be debt free sooner.

casualty
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby casualty » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:53 pm

Thanks for your perceptive reply, bk1. You've nailed it, I think. I find myself wondering which school offers better employment prospects in any market, given a similar class ranking in either. Though UNC does a great job within North Carolina, does Vanderbilt offer a more secure chance of placement overall? If that's the case, is it really worth it to take on less debt if your employability is lessened?

scammedhard
Posts: 642
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby scammedhard » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:07 pm

31 and debt averse; criminal law, no big law desire; small or mid-sized firm; wants to live somewhere outside of NC.

Firstly, I think you can find a job like that outside NC (but most likely in the South) coming out of UNC, therefore I don't see the need to pay an extra ~60K to attend Vandy.

Secondly, you age is a factor. If you are like most people, you have big events coming your way (marriage, kids, buying a house, etc), therefore you should keep your debt to the absolute minimum.

In any case, you have two FANTASTIC options. Good luck!

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby Grizz » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:12 pm

bk1 wrote:It's a tough choice. On one hand Vandy will keep you indebted for a longer period of time but it would be far easier for you to procure employment immediately following law school in places other than NC. On the other hand you could go to UNC and be debt free sooner but you would be generally limited to NC for your first job (where it seems like your intention would be to work somewhere else once your experience was enough to get you looks from firms outside of NC).

I personally feel like your age makes it hard because you ideally want to get out of NC asap but you also want to be debt free asap and you have to give up one or the other (at least in terms of how long before it happens) depending on which school you choose. I think you have decide whether you want out of NC sooner or you want to be debt free sooner.

I aggree with BK here. You can only get some of what you want. Also consider DA and PD offices to gain crim experience. Smaller firms want someone, especially in this field, who knows that they're doing right away.

User avatar
ndirish2010
Posts: 2950
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:41 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:17 pm

I would go with Carolina here. It's real close though. Like scammedhard said, you should be able to leave the state with the Carolina degree, just not go too far.

User avatar
jazzmastersc
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:43 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby jazzmastersc » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:27 pm

I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I face a similar decision. Surprise 20k at Vandy today, and I have full-tuition at South Carolina and a lease in Columbia. I have strong SC ties, but I am leaning toward Vandy. The logistics of moving are difficult since my wedding is this Saturday and I would need to withdraw from South Carolina and terminate my lease. However, my fiance could teach in Nashville (COL income) instead of attending grad school in Columbia. Will OP and I be classmates in Nashville?

User avatar
ndirish2010
Posts: 2950
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:41 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:35 pm

I would go to Vandy in your situation- South Carolina is a good school for SC, but it is not on par with UNC. Especially if your fiancee could get a job in Nashville.

scammedhard
Posts: 642
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby scammedhard » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:38 pm

jazzmastersc:
ndirish2010 wrote:I would go to Vandy in your situation- South Carolina is a good school for SC, but it is not on par with UNC. Especially if your fiancee could get a job in Nashville.

I wonder what's going on at Vandy to have this much movement so late. I guess apps are really low across the boards and more than the usual number of accepts must have declined.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:50 am

Vanderbilt since you want degree portability & out of North Carolina.

bball25
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:58 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby bball25 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:22 am

Kind of off topic but the person a couple posts ago said he would "terminate" his lease. Do you have a plan on how you plan to get out of this lease. Im struggling to get out of one myself. OP congrats you have two great options. Looking through the thread I would probably lean towards UNC. No question Vandy has the better prospects, but at your stage of life and with your career goals I feel like UNC can help you be nearly debt free with a job. The placement outside NC is the only thing that scares me if I'm you.

fingersxd
Posts: 643
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:04 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby fingersxd » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:04 am

jazzmastersc wrote:I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I face a similar decision. Surprise 20k at Vandy today, and I have full-tuition at South Carolina and a lease in Columbia. I have strong SC ties, but I am leaning toward Vandy. The logistics of moving are difficult since my wedding is this Saturday and I would need to withdraw from South Carolina and terminate my lease. However, my fiance could teach in Nashville (COL income) instead of attending grad school in Columbia. Will OP and I be classmates in Nashville?


Vandy is a better choice for you here.

For OP, I would lean ever so slightly towards UNC (try to get some more $ out of them. I think you might have a chance to).

casualty
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby casualty » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:17 am

Thanks for all of your responses. In response to the question about terminating leases, I opted to rent from an amenable and small-scale property manager in Chapel Hill. I feel they'd give due effort in finding a new tenant - or at least be open to my subleasing the unit. I figure I'd be on the line for a couple months of rent, at the most.

I've thought about communicating this offer to UNC, but it feels late in the game. How much precedent is there for July merit bumps, I wonder?

I'm leaning towards Vanderbilt, but I have another 24 hours of head-racking. Nashville is seeming much more enticing than Chapel Hill.

User avatar
ndirish2010
Posts: 2950
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:41 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:46 am

I love Chapel Hill, but given you're from NC you probably are familiar with it and don't like it as much...

casualty
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby casualty » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:56 am

Chapel Hill is my hometown. Which has it's plusses and negatives. Anybody have thoughts on how to word a late-game negotiation letter that won't make me come off like an ass if I end up staying at UNC? Is it even advisable?

fingersxd
Posts: 643
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:04 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby fingersxd » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:14 pm

casualty wrote:Chapel Hill is my hometown. Which has it's plusses and negatives. Anybody have thoughts on how to word a late-game negotiation letter that won't make me come off like an ass if I end up staying at UNC? Is it even advisable?


I think you should word it the same way you would if it was earlier in the game. I also don't see what the harm is in asking.

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4855
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby Borhas » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:53 pm

Vanderbilt, go for DA/PD, IBR repayment will make Vandy opportunity worth it

User avatar
jazzmastersc
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:43 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby jazzmastersc » Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:25 pm

I just accepted the offer from Vanderbilt. The Dean and admissions staff at South Carolina were very helpful and understanding. I am very excited about Vanderbilt and life in Nashville!

fingersxd
Posts: 643
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:04 pm

Re: Surprise admission to Vanderbilt ($) vs UNC (in-state, $)

Postby fingersxd » Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:56 pm

jazzmastersc wrote:I just accepted the offer from Vanderbilt. The Dean and admissions staff at South Carolina were very helpful and understanding. I am very excited about Vanderbilt and life in Nashville!


Congrats.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests